In a 2014 interview with Playboy, Gary Oldman called the Golden Globes a “meaningless event.” At the time of the interview, Oldman had never won nor been nominated for a Golden Globe, but that changed last night with his Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama award for Darkest Hour, in which he plays former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
“It’s a meaningless event. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is kidding you that something’s happening. They’re fucking ridiculous. There’s nothing going on at all. It’s 90 nobodies having a wank. Everybody’s getting drunk, and everybody’s sucking up to everybody. Boycott the fucking thing. Just say we’re not going to play this silly game with you anymore,” he continued to say in the feature.
Given his tears as he accepted the prestigious award last night, it seems Oldman has changed his tune.
But that wouldn’t soften the juxtaposition of the actor’s recent achievements and 2014 sentiments. Elsewhere in the interview, when asked about political correctness, Oldman said, “I think it’s like, take a fucking joke. Get over it.” Specifically, his ire seemed focus on late night talk show hosts who often use comedy to talk about politics. “More and more, people in this culture are able to hide behind comedy and satire to say things we can’t ordinarily say, because it’s all too politically correct.”
He goes on to give a profanity-laden example of what he viewed as a double standard. “Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a cunt—and I’ll go one better, a fucking useless cunt—I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, 'I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.' He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, You fag'? I don’t get it.”
The comments are shocking (just as they were in 2014, as well), and don’t align well with the overriding message of the 2018 Golden Globes: unity, acceptance, and equality. Last night, actresses and their male peers dressed in all black as part of a Times Up initiative to protest gender inequality, sexual assault, and more of the industry’s patriarchal problems. Times Up is a legal defense fund, setup by a who’s who of Hollywood actresses, that "provides subsidized legal support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace."
During his acceptance speech, a #TimesUp pin worn proudly on his lapel, Oldman ended with “It was great that words and actions could change the world – and boy, oh boy, could it use some change (now).” Perhaps Oldman was referring to his own.